A Special Tribute ~ Ike ~

Good morning and welcome!  If you read my blog on a regular basis or just stop by to browse on occasion you probably know why I use the moniker Saintsrule.  The name comes from the fact that I have 4 St. Bernards, Ike, Dakota, Morgan and Reagan.  On Wednesday, September 18, my big brood became a little smaller.  Our gentle giant and all around big guy Ike passed on.  His death was the result of a horrible accident.  He had consumed something that twisted in his stomach, damaged his small intestines and ultimately set up an infection in his body.  In the end, surgery on our precious boy could not save him, even with the valiant attempts of a tenacious vet.  He took time to investigate and find the root cause when others had pushed us aside.   We lost him entirely too soon… just shy of his 7th birthday…
Ike was a special boy.  As large as he was, (180+ pounds in his prime) he never moved in a threatening way toward people.  Even when he was so sick and being prodded in so many ways he kept his good nature.  His sad eyes never ceased to cut straight to my heart.  Even as a young pup he knew how to work his mommy, whether it be for warm hard boiled eggs, a piece of cheese or a belly rub. 
He came from the great state of Kansas.  My husband and I went there in November of 2006 to pick our new boy up.  His former family came from an area near Abilene, Kansas, home of United States President, Dwight Eisenhower.  Soon our sweet little monk capped Saint had his name, Ike. 
We brought him home to meet his new friends, Dakota and Morgan.  Both were immediately “smitten” with the new pup.  They allowed him to chew on their ears and tails for hours at a time.  When it snowed that first winter, they all jumped and played in the yard.  I saw our Ikie do his first St. Bernard dance, a routine we affectionately came to label "cavorting."  Ike continued to "cavort" until the day he died. 
There were some tough times.  As gentle as Ike could be with people he had a deep desire to be a “varmit dog.”  Unfortunately in the beginning we lost a few lambs to his jaws.  He didn’t understand why they wouldn’t play the way he wanted to. 
Even with those trials, we loved him.  And he loved us.  A week ago Thursday, I came home to find my big Ike obviously in pain resting on his side.  He loved to have his belly rubbed.  So I plopped my middle aged body down on the concrete sidewalk and rubbed his belly.  He wrapped his big paw around my arm as he often did and we stayed there, me flat on my back rubbing his belly, for quite a while.  So long in fact, that I nearly couldn’t get up!  But that precious memory remains of me comforting him AND him comforting me.  Somehow, we both knew that our time was limited.  We said our goodbyes before we really knew goodbyes had to be said...  It was a true gift from God. 
Some people make the argument that animals are not in heaven.  I read a book recently by Randy Alcorn, entitled, Heaven.  He makes some interesting points on this subject.  He maintains animals will not be resurrected as born again believers will, but by the mercy of God he will recreate some of the animals that hold a special place in our heart.   If that is the case, I know my Ikie will be there with me.  He was a blessing in so many ways.  And heaven wouldn't be the same without him or my Saints.  Thank you and  God bless.


I am so sorry to hear about Ike. My heart goes out to you and your family.
Andie Miller said…
I am so very sorry, Lori. As an owner of two saint sisters, I have had a paw hooked around my arm while rubbing a belly in the recent past. They are such loving pets, I'm sure you'll mourn the loss. My husband often says God gives us these gentle giants so we can taste loss and learn to trust Him. May the remaining three be a comfort to you.
Sharon said…
Oh Lori, I am so very sorry to hear of your loss. And I believe with all of my heart that our 'babies' will meet us in heaven.
Jan Marie said…
Sending hugs and prayers that the Lord would comfort your heart with His sweet promises. Here are a couple of verses that I've found encouraging in dealing with the loss of a beloved four-legged friend. Also praying that new puppy would help fill the hole in your heart, knowing that no one will ever replace sweet Ike. With love, in Christ alone, Jan Marie

For the earnest expectation of the creation waiteth for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to vanity, not of its own will, but by reason of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the liberty of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. And not only so, but ourselves also, who have the first-fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for our adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.
(Romans 8:19-23)
And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth are passed away; and the sea is no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of the throne saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he shall dwell with them, and they shall be his peoples, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God: and he shall wipe away every tear from their eyes; and death shall be no more; neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain, any more: the first things are passed away. (Revelation 21:1-4)
Jan Marie said…
Just found this from The Chronicles of Narnia series, The Last Battle, by C.S. Lewis. It's not scripture and therefore fallible, but. . .a new heavens and a new earth, a renewed creation, that is scriptural!

"Perhaps you will get some idea of it if you think like this. You may have been in a room in which there was a window that looked out on a lovely bay of the sea or a green valley that wound away among the mountains. And in the wall of that room opposite to the glass there may have been a looking glass. And the sea in the mirror, or the valley in the mirror, were in one sense just the same as the real ones: yet at the same time they were somehow different — deeper, more wonderful, more like places in a story: in a story you have never heard but very much want to know. The difference between the old Narnia and the new Narnia was like that. The new one was a deeper country: every rock and flower and blade of grass looked like it meant more. I can't describe it any better than that: if you ever get there you will know what I mean.
It was the unicorn who summed up what everyone was feeling. He stamped his right fore-hoof on the ground and neighed, and then cried:
'I have come home at last! This is my real country! I belong here. This is the land I have been looking for all my life, though I never knew it till now. The reason why we loved the old Narnia so much is because it sometimes looked a little like this. Bree-hee-hee! Come further up, come further in!'"
Maria said…
So sorry to hear of the loss of your dog, Ike. What a wonderful tribute you wrote in your post. He sounds like he was a wonderful dog. My heart goes out to you at this time. I, too, lost two precious dogs. A lab I lost several years ago after eating something he shouldn't have. The vet tried to save him, but to no avail. And, a darling cocker spaniel four years ago due to old age. We now have a German Shepherd. He scares the mail lady, but he is a gentle soul. We love him dearly. Pets bring such joy into our lives. I'll be thinking of you and keeping you in thought and prayer! Take care!:-)
I am so very sorry for your loss. As a pet lover I truly can say that I know what you must be feeling I lost my adorable boxer almost six years. I will keep you and your family in my prayers.
Rosemary said…
so sorry to read about the loss of your sweet guy, Ike! will be keeping you in my prayers, my friend!
Ruth Ann Hager said…
Animals are such a blessing to our lives, and thus how keenly we feel the pain when we are faced with the loss of their companionship. May God give you comfort and keep the memories fresh and sweet in your heart. Having walked down that path several times myself, I know how hard it can be at times. Prayers are with you. Hugs, Ruth Ann
Tam said…
I'm sorry about your doggie. :(

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